J. Folch-Pi Director of Scientific Research, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass., U.S.A. The development of the central nervous system is possibly the most significant aspect of the growth of a mammal from embryo to adulthood. The central nervous system is obviously the main repository not only of the species' inherited functional characteristics but also of the process of individuation. Whatever "engrams" constitute the basis of individual characteristics are laid down mainly in the central nervous system, and especially the brain, during its growth. The chemical aspect of this process IS clearly of great importance and the significance of its study should be self evident. Nevertheless, it is only one aspect of a parel lei series of morphological, physiological, biochemical and psychological events which take place as an integrated process, the final result of which is the transformation of the post-embryonic nervous system into the functioning adult system. It is imperative, therefore, that any study or description of the chemical events during the development of the CNS should be undertaken in ful I awareness of the concomitant morphological, physiological and psychological events. It is only against this multidiscipl inary informational framework that the chemical events during 2 J. FOLCH-PI development can be correctly interpreted and acquire their ful I significance. With this in mind, the introduction to this volume may best serve its purpose by describing briefly the morphological and physiological events that accompany the chemical aspect of development.
Table of ContentsSection I Constituents during Development.- Role of Nucleic Acids in Brain Development.- Cholesterol Biosynthesis in Liver Tissue.- Biosynthesis of Sterols in Developing Brain.- Brain and Myelin Sterols Studied using Specific Inhibitors of Sterol Synthesis.- Phospholipid Metabolism in the Developing Brain.- Brain Gangliosides in Development.- Lipids of the Nervous System: Changes with Age, Species Variations, Lipid Class Relationships and Comparison of other Organs.- Some Aspects of Carbohydrate Metabolism in the Developing Brain.- The Response of a Brain Specific Protein at Learning.- Some Aspects of Enzyme Catalysed Asymmetric Reactions of Symmetrical Molecules.- Section II Biochemical and Morphological Interrelations.- Biochemistry of the Developing Autonomic Neuron.- Methods for Measuring Indolealkylamine and Catecholamine Turnover Rate “In Vivo”.- Development of Monoaminergic Transmissions in the Rat Brain.- Control Mechanisms in the Sympathetic Nervous System.- Drugs Interfering with Central Cholinergic Mechansims.- The GABA System in Brain Development.- Hormones and Brain Development.- The Role of the Endocrine Glands in Mammalian Brain Development.- General Features of the Synaptic Organization in the Central Nervous System.- Some Biochemical Aspects of the Development of Avian Optic Centres and the Effects of Deafferentation.- The Nuclear-Ribosomal System during Neuronal Differentiation and Development.- Section III Membrane Formation and Function.- Structure of Cellular Membranes and Regulation of their Lipid Composition.- Recent Developments in the Investigation of Purified Myelin.- On Ca++ Transport across the Mitochondrial Membrane: The Role of the Chemical Nature and Pattern of Mitochondrial Phospholipids.- Brain Nucleotides and Excitatory Processes.- The Biochemistry of Myelinogenesis in the Central Nervous System.- The Blood-Brain Barrier.- Section IV Nutrition and Brain Development.- Undernutrition and the Developing Brain: The use of Animal Models to Elucidate the Human Problem.- Influence of Neonatal Undernutrition on the Development of Rat Cerebral Cortex: A Microchemical Study.- Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency and its Effects on the Central Nervous Systm.- Clinical Observations on Late Effects of Early Malnutrition.